Television

MTV to air ad free concerts on World AIDS Day

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NEW YORK/ LONDON: MTV has announced two mega concerts to mark World AIDS Day; one to be held in Seattle, Washington on 7 November and the other in Cape Town, South Africa on 23 November featuring Grammy winning artist Alicia Keys and local artists.

The former will feature multi-platinum acts Missy Elliott, Dave Matthews and others. Both concerts will be edited together to premiere on MTV channels worldwide on World AIDS Day on 1December, as a 90-minute commercial-free special titled, MTV Presents Levi's Jeans Staying Alive Concert in Association With YouthAIDS.

The concert special, as well as additional HIV/AIDS awareness programming, is being offered rights free to broadcasters worldwide to get positive health messages out to the widest audience possible; it is estimated the concert will be seen by a potential global audience of more than two billion people. MTV recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Broadcasting Union, the largest association of public service broadcasters, to distribute the programming to 70 additional broadcasters in 51 countries reaching 290 million households.

The concerts will be held as part of an unprecedented HIV/AIDS awareness partnership for youth between business, media, non-government organisations (NGOs) and charitable foundations. The partnership was announced by MTV, the Levi's brand, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation, Population Services International's YouthAIDS and UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS).

Westwood One radio network, in conjunction with Westwood One's MTV Radio Network, will distribute the concert to radio stations worldwide. The special will be seen by more than 377 million households in 166 countries on MTV channels in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Russia.

The unique partnership aims to fight the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS, prevent further infections and empower youth to make informed decisions. The collaborative effort is being produced in conjunction with MTV International's Staying Alive campaign (http://www.staying-alive.org) as well as the MTV US yearlong sexual health campaign, Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself (http://www.fightforyourrights.mtv.com).

MTV International launched its Staying Alive multimedia HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for youth at the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona which took place in July. Developed in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the YouthNet program spearheaded by Family Health International, the campaign includes special programming, a dedicated, informative Web site, public service announcements and locally produced events and initiatives.

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